Pictorial tobacco warnings have public support: Study

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Mumbai, Oct 27 (UNI) Pictorial health warnings, to be made mandatory from November 30 on tobacco products, has strong support from the public at large, according a study by city-based Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health (HSIPH).

In a study conducted by HSIPH among 712 Mumbaikars above the age of 15 years, 97 per cent of the respondents were of the opinion that pictorial health warnings should be displayed on cigarette packs and 85 per cent respondents felt strong health warnings on cigarettes should be displayed immediately.

Extensive research from across the globe have also established that effective health warnings increase knowledge about risks associated with tobacco use and can decrease intentions to use tobacco among vulnerable youth and persuade tobacco users to quit.

Graphic warnings have a greater impact than text-only ones and can be recognised by low-literacy audiences and children-the two vulnerable population groups, said a HSIPH statement here today.

''The message from public is loud and clear. Public wants clear health warnings without delay on tobacco products. It is astonishing that the tobacco product in India- bidi, that kills more people than any other tobacco product- carries no warning whatsoever. It is also in contravention of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to which India is a signatory, ''said HSIPH, Director, Dr P C Gupta.

UNI ZC ZA SP AS1507

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